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Wynonna Earp experiences déjà vu as the world crumbles around her

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Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. E.T. on Space. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Spoilers follow for Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 9, “Undo It.”

By the end of last week’s episode, Bulshar had officially risen. This week on Wynonna Earp, the crew is left figuring out how to handle a demon that is visibly in violation of like 14 fashion police statutes.

“Undo It” begins the way every episode of Wynonna Earp should (frankly) begin – Waverly and Nicole in the midst of their Wayhaught shenanigans. As happens with many of us, their moaning O-faces were a result of them struggling to pry Bulshar’s ring off Waverly’s finger. When the excess lube doesn’t help, Haught sets off to the Earp barn, where Wynonna and Vamp Doc pried some other non-demonic things off each other. The only caveat here, of course, being Bulshar having WynDoc under his evil dandelion remnant-spell we saw him use at the conclusion of last week’s episode.

Wynonna manages to snap out of the spell for a quick second with just enough time to knock out a number of rejected extras from Monty Python And The Holy Grail and refer to Bulshar as “Ballshaft.” Ballshaft realizes Wynonna will not go down without a fight (because she is Wynonna. Freaking. Earp.) so he decides on fulfilling the nightmare every human being dreads – enduring a Happy Groundhog Run Lola Death Day scenario where you constantly die and come back to life while a terrible Powerpoint presentation plays in the background. I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this dreadful thought.

After being poison darted, spiked in the eye and acid-ed (somehow), Wynonna refuses the advice Doc gives her which is to “stop and think” and “be methodical,” because planning ahead is for nerds. Bulshar ups the ante by placing Wynonna at the Homestead, where we learn Doc is slowly being buried alive as she moves around Fantasy Bulshar World. Wynonna encounters Bobo in the barn and explores the definition of insanity (doing the same thing multiple times expecting different results) by killing him over a thousand times, leading to Doc’s imminent burial. She takes a different approach for the 1,001st time and actually talks to the well-dressed revenant. She pleads for his help in the fight against Bulshar, but Bobo feels defeated and that terrifies me. Throughout Wynonna Earp, I truly felt like Bobo had the consistent upper hand during any instance involving danger, including those during his well days. If he believes Wynonna will give up fighting Bulshar’s reign… then what fate possibly remains for those left in Purgatory? They simultaneously stab each other and as a pool of blood grows below her, I’m left with a pang in my heart striving for some good to come for our Earp crew.

During Wynonna’s time in Bulsharland, Wayhaught heads to the Gardner estate, where we get a glimpse of our beloved Mercedes post-Face/Off op trying to break into the Gardner safe. The trio encounter creepy demon jeweller Derek, who threatens Mercedes and Haught if Waverly doesn’t give him the ring by any means necessary. What does that entail? Cutting that beautiful angelic finger clean off. What course of action does Waverly take? SHE BURNS THE GUY’S FREAKIN’ FACE OFF. From her Wonder Woman punch of last week and this week’s gradual mutant abilities shining, I cannot wait to see how Waverly’s powers progress. While I’m not certain whether they’re solely a result of the ring or Waverly’s own badass self, seeing her come to terms with her newfound abilities is a prospect I’m dying for more of. A team-up episode where an entire day is spent with Wynonna quipping, Waverly Falcon-punching and Haught shooting a truckload of revenant scum? Sign me up.

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 9 – Undo It. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 9 – Undo It. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Jeremy and Wayhaught investigate the woods, where they find displays made by the Blair Witch during her exploration phase. They find Bobo’s body where he reveals Bulshar is indeed one with the trees. When Waverly pushes him against a tree, Bobo ponders whether she found her father’s ring or if the ring found her (while Earpers are all here wondering, “Wait, her *father’s* ring?!”). Wynonna ultimately rescues Doc from a lifetime of finding dirt in places it doesn’t belong. She uses Peacemaker to seemingly Infinity War Bulshar away and they walk through the “red Narnia door” Wynonna believes is the way out of this ride that never ends. When we return to the barn, we’re briefly led to believe the curse is over. However, we’re right back to square one of Bulsharland and all hope is lost forever. Bulshar needs Peacemaker in order to make his Paradise dream a reality and in his fantasy world, he can seemingly bring to fruition any of Wynonna’s fears. We all know nothing can truly faze the Earp heir with the exception of one minor vice – the unmitigated love she has for her core crew. Bulshar knows this and utilizes her fear of her loved ones enduring harm against her. You see, this is why I don’t have any friends.

JerWayhaught find WynDoc trapped in a Blair Witch project and manages to wake them up. While the jubilation sets in that they’re finally out, we learn Bulshar now has the key needed to enter Paradise in the form of Peacemaker. With the King of Cat Barf now in possession of Wyatt Earp’s gun, is all hope lost forever for the residents of Purgatory? Not necessarily. We cut to a fully-healed Mercedes Gardner as she removes her bandages and thanks everyone’s favourite “sweet little lesbian” Waverly Earp for curing her. Earlier in the episode, we got a glimpse of what Heaven most likely looks like as a place on Earth when Waverly gently caressed Mercedes’ demolished-looking face. Is Waverly Earp the key to defeating Bulshar? Are Niagara Falls oven mitts going to be all the rage this coming season? I guess all we can do is wait and see what else occurs during another day in Purgatory!

“Undo It” executes one of my personal favourite narrative devices commonly used in TV and film: the “Groundhog Day Loop.” Seeing how characters attempt to work their way around a nearly impossible scenario has always fascinated me, as I constantly place myself in their shoes and wonder what I would do if faced with this task. Spoiler alert: I’d probably just cry uncontrollably until the entity involved with placing me in this situation grew tired of my incessant wailing.

It’s certainly nothing new to say Melanie Scrofano is an absolute revelation in her role as Wynonna Earp, however certain episodes come about that make you realize just how phenomenal she is and what an absolute honour it is watching her work. When Wynonna’s growing frustration reaches its climax and she starts back at square one, it is unbelievably compelling just seeing the sense of dread wash over her face as she struggles to figure out her next move. I’ve made my Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Scrofano love widely known, so I am counting down the days until we see the Earp sisters rightly strike down upon those who dare trespass them.

My 3 Favourite W’s of the Episode

I would now like to turn your attention to my 3 Favourite W’s for this episode of Wynonna Earp. These consist of favourite Wynonna Insult, Wayhaught Moment and Waverly Expression – the three pillars of any Wynonna Earp episode.

Wynonna Insult: “Even for a million-year-old Hell monster you… look like cat barf.”

Wayhaught Moment: There are key quotes in media that have become synonymous with true love – “You had me at hello” / “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” / “I wish I knew how to quit you.” I would like to formally announce my campaign to add the following Nicole Haught line to this list: “When we get that thing off… We get off.”

Waverly Expression: 

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 9 – Undo It. Photo courtesy Bell Media

Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 9 – Undo It. Photo courtesy Bell Media

What did you think of “Undo It”? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Ghezal Amiri on Twitter.

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Acquainted takes a raw and honest look at modern love

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Acquainted stars Giacomo Gianniotti and Laysla De Oliveria as Drew and Emma, two high school classmates who discover sparks between them upon reuniting, despite the two both being involved in committed relationships. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media
Acquainted stars Giacomo Gianniotti and Laysla De Oliveria as Drew and Emma, two high school classmates who discover sparks between them upon reuniting, despite the two both being involved in committed relationships. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media

In Acquainted, a new romantic drama from Toronto-based director Natty Zavitz, high school classmates Drew (Giacomo Gianniotti of Grey’s Anatomy) and Emma (Laysla De Oliveria of The Gifted) reunite with each other at a bar and instantly connect, discovering they share some serious chemistry. Problem is, the pair are both in serious, long-term relationships.

The script for the film was partly inspired by the deterioration of Zavitz’s last major relationship, said producer Jonathan Keltz (Entourage, Reign), who also plays Allan in the film.

“(Zavitz) sent me the script almost four years ago and I just connected so deeply and was so blown away by his script,” Keltz said. “(I was blown away) by how defined his voice was. I was completely moved by it.”

Inspired by films such as Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset trilogy, Acquainted is an honest look at relationships and adulthood, exploring the subject matter with introspection. Keltz said the film examines fidelity and infidelity from a judgement-free place.

Alongside Gianniotti and De Oliveria, Acquainted also stars Johnathan Keltz (Entourage, Reign), Rachel Skarsten and Parveen Kaur. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media

Alongside Gianniotti and De Oliveria, Acquainted also stars Johnathan Keltz (Entourage, Reign), Rachel Skarsten and Parveen Kaur. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media

“The characters are not villains or victims. It’s a raw and honest look at being in relationships, to have these type of things happen and how to deal with that,” he said. “The relationship with the self and the seeking to find out who you really are is really what’s crucial to the building of a relationship with somebody else.

“It’s about taking the time to do that work that puts you in the best position to be a partner with somebody and to be an adult in this world.”

Many of the cast and crew on Acquainted have worked in Toronto’s film community for years, making the set of the film a reunion of its own. 

“In front of the camera and behind the camera, (the film involves all) kinds of amazing artists. It’s really a Canadian film and a Toronto film,” Keltz said. “It’s not trying to either hide that or beat you over the head with that.

“I think that’s done in a very unique way, and in a way that is both Torontonian and Canadian but also universally and commercially viable.”

Keltz said he thought the film would be emotionally affecting to audiences, offering perspective that could help to contextualize modern love and relationship.

“I think this is a really raw and honest and beautiful film about what it means to be in love, to be heartbroken, to be devastated, to be inspired and to try and build a life for yourself and figure out what that means,” Keltz said.

Acquainted is now playing at Cineplex Movies Yonge and Dundas in Toronto, International Village in Vancouver and at Landmark Cinemas nationwide.

Next up on The Mutt: With maturity and depth, An Audience of Chairs reflects on mental illness

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With maturity and depth, An Audience of Chairs reflects on mental illness

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An Audience of Chairs stars Carolina Bartczak as Maura Mackenzie, a talented pianist struggling with mental illness. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media
An Audience of Chairs stars Carolina Bartczak as Maura Mackenzie, a talented pianist struggling with mental illness. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media

Based on the novel of the same name from Canadian author Joan Clark, An Audience of Chairs is a complex and contemplative look at mental illness, a wise film that approaches its subject matter with significant emotional maturity.

Much of that refinement and subtlety is found in the original work, but director Deanne Foley and screenwriter Rosemary House build upon it, drawing an affecting performance from Carolina Bartczak, who plays Maura.

(Maura) has a very complex and tormented relationship with her children and her career and her marriage, Foley said. Its really about one womans journey of survival. For me, its a powerful redemption story.

Upon reading Houses adaptation of An Audience of Chairs and in digesting the original novel herself, Foley said she identified scenes and moments that she felt were illustrative as to Mauras character.

It was a lot of time trying to find those moments, being able to strip away all the dialogue. Because there is so much that is not said, Foley said. We were telling visually the story of a woman with a mental illness. So even using the way we lit the house, there was light and darkness within her environment. That helps in being able to illuminate her mood.

An Audience of Chairs was directed by Deanne Foley and written by Rosemary House, based on the novel by Joan Clark. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media

An Audience of Chairs was directed by Deanne Foley and written by Rosemary House, based on the novel by Joan Clark. Photo courtesy Red Eye Media

Portraying mental illness on screen in an effective and responsible manner can be a challenge for any filmmaker. Foley said she felt that responsibility, even feeling a level of trepidation prior to beginning work on An Audience of Chairs.

We wanted to make sure it was authentic and it was an honest portrayal of this woman, Foley said. We contacted a psychologist, who (Bartczak) worked with closely. That psychologist gave us reassurance that whoever wrote the script had a strong understanding of bipolar disorder.

Foley said she established a rule on set that if something were to occur in the film that wouldnt take place in real life, it would not make it into the film. Mauras physical and emotional responses were also checked by the psychologist to ensure their authenticity.

The films resulting approach to mental illness is factual and genuine, something Foley said was a goal for the filmmaking team from the outset.

Even though her life isnt perfect, (Maura) is still able to function in society, Foley said. I wanted to give a message of hope, that no matter how broken a person can be, they can still manage to find the light again.

An Audience of Chairs is currently playing at Imagine Cinemas Carlton in Toronto and Cineplex Park Lane in Halifax. For other showtimes or more information, click here.

Next up on The Mutt: Tantoo Cardinal propels Falls Around Her in first leading role

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9 Canadian films screening at the 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival

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From director Brent Hodge (Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary, A Brony Tale), the documentary Who Let The Dogs Out will make its Canadian premiere at the 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival. Photo courtesy CUFF
From director Brent Hodge (Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary, A Brony Tale), the documentary Who Let The Dogs Out will make its Canadian premiere at the 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival. Photo courtesy CUFF

Returning for the 16th year, the Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) is set to once again showcase the best in genre film at Calgary’s Globe Cinema April 22 to 28. Brennan Tilley, lead programmer at CUFF, said this year’s festival (CUFF’s biggest ever with 30 features and 33 shorts) included a strong Canadian lineup.

“(With our lineup), it’s not like we’re saying we’re going to just pick the 12 best Canadian shorts or six best Canadian features. It really is that these are the films that we love,” Tilley said. “As long as Canadians and Albertans keep making great films, those are exactly what we’re going to want to show. There’s so many good ones.”

This year’s Canadian lineup includes Harpoon (directed by Rob Grant and produced by Michael Peterson and Kurt Harder), Brent Hodge’s Who Let The Dogs Out and the debut feature from Calgarian Cameron Macgowan, Red Letter Day.

Tilley weighed in on nine of the exciting Canadian productions featured at this year’s Calgary Underground Film Festival. This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length.

HARPOON

From director Rob Grant (Mon Ami, Fake Blood), Harpoon will make its Canadian premiere at the Calgary Underground Film Festival. Photo courtesy CUFF

From director Rob Grant (Mon Ami, Fake Blood), Harpoon will make its Canadian premiere at the Calgary Underground Film Festival. Photo courtesy CUFF

Harpoon arrives at CUFF after having made its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film follows three best friends stranded on a yacht under suspicious circumstances.

“Rob Grant is the director (of Harpoon) and he’s someone we’ve worked with before and are pretty familiar with. And the producers are friends of ours, and we’ve had their stuff come through our festival before,” Tilley said. “It’s quite an exciting selection to be part of that at Rotterdam and we were so happy for them to get that. And we’re so excited to host the Canadian premiere.”

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT

From director Brent Hodge (Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary, A Brony Tale), the documentary Who Let The Dogs Out will make its Canadian premiere at the 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival. Photo courtesy CUFF

From director Brent Hodge (Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary, A Brony Tale), the documentary Who Let The Dogs Out will make its Canadian premiere at the 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival. Photo courtesy CUFF

From CUFF alumnus Brent Hodge, the documentary Who Let The Dogs Out traces the curious origins of Baha Men’s hit song of the same name. Hodge’s previous film, Freaks & Geeks: The Documentary, took home the 2018 CUFF Audience Award for Best Documentary at last year’s festival.

“(Who Let The Dogs Out) just had its world premiere at SXSW. It’s a terrific Canadian film,” Tilley said. “I think it’s something in pop culture that so many people know but don’t really know the story behind it. A lot of people know at least know two or three lines from that song but don’t know what the song’s about. But this is about the history of it – it’s a great comedic documentary about copyright law.”

RED LETTER DAY

Calgary director Cameron Macgowan's feature film debut will make its Canadian premiere at CUFF 2019. Photo courtesy CUFF

Calgary director Cameron Macgowan’s feature film debut will make its Canadian premiere at CUFF 2019. Photo courtesy CUFF

Calgary director Cameron Macgowan’s first feature film Red Letter Day, a satirical horror/thriller, is set to screen at CUFF 2019. The film was a selection at the 2019 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Cinequest 2019 and the 2019 Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival.

“We’ve gone way back with (Macgowan) as a filmmaker. To have his feature debut screening with us is very exciting. That’s another film that is very much in the wheelhouse of the types of films we play,” Tilley said. “It’s really a film for video store nerds, as well as people who would rent a horror film on VHS and watch it over and over all night. I think it harkens back to that better than any film I’ve seen in quite some time.”

HAPPY FACE

From director Alexandre Franchi, Happy Face will make its Alberta premiere at CUFF 2019. Photo courtesy CUFF

From director Alexandre Franchi, Happy Face will make its Alberta premiere at CUFF 2019. Photo courtesy CUFF

From director Alexandre Franchi (The Wild Hunt), Happy Face is a part autobiographical drama and Franchi’s second feature film.

“This film is just so raw in its portrayal of its (characters). Every (character) featured in the film is playing a version of themselves, and in a way that really exposes them in quite an amazing way,” Tilley said. “You really feel for these characters. It raises questions about how people with deformities or disfigurements are treated, and how people deal with sick family. Plus, it has Dungeons and Dragons in it.”

FREAKS

From directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein, Freaks will make its Alberta premiere at CUFF 2019. Photo courtesy CUFF

From directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein, Freaks will make its Alberta premiere at CUFF 2019. Photo courtesy CUFF

From directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein, Freaks bends elements of genre films with strong characterizations and compelling allegories. Read our interview with Lipovsky and Stein here.

“We’re really excited to be championing it. This filmmaking team is on the cusp of greatness. (Lipvosky and Stein) have made such a compelling film,” Tilley said. “It goes in unique directions and really pushes boundaries. It’s a science fiction thriller with a real family angle. It has some twists and turns that are really exciting for fans of genre-bending thrillers.”

SHORTS

Fast Horse (screened before Ask Dr. Ruth)

“That’s one that actually won the Best Director award at Sundance,” Tilley said. “So it’s really great given all the success it’s been having to be able to play it for a Calgary audience. That’s exciting, especially because it’s about the Calgary Stampede.”

Love After Ann (screened as part of the package Shorts: The Shape Of Things To Come)

(Love After Ann) is by Darrin Rose, who is a pretty big standup comedian known throughout Canada,” Tilley said. “This is a real quick hit short all about Henry the 7th, basically on speed dating. It’s terrific.”

Memento Mori (screened as part of the package Shorts: Friends And Lovers In Confusing Times)

Memento Mori is from Alberta. It’s quite a raw portrayal of a young woman coming to terms with her cancer diagnosis,” Tilley said. “It’s great.”

I Swallow Your Secrets (screened as part of the package Shorts: An All-Consuming Fear)

“That was made through SAIT,” Tilley said. “That’s really great to see them coming up and getting festival play.”

The 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival runs April 22 to 28 at the Globe Cinema in Calgary. For full lineup information, visit calgaryundergroundfilm.org

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